The recently formed Capitalist Party of South Africa - ZACP - wants State owned enterprises to be owned by South Africans with every registered voter holding R50 000 in shares, saying this is ‘true economic empowerment’.
On Tuesday, the party held a public town hall meeting on their YouTube channel called “Fix our broken SOEs and award every voter R50 000”.
ZACP leader Kanthan Pillay said the premise of this was that every single South African is an owner of Eskom, Transnet, Prasa, SAA and 711 other state- owned entities.
“We are proposing, through the Capitalist Party, a new and radical approach. We are demanding that government ownership of the SOEs is handed over to the citizens of South Africa.”
Pillay said a lot of people wanted to know what the party meant by this.
“The model has been carried out successfully before. When we had the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union around about 1989 a lot of the countries in Eastern Europe went this route in terms of their State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in terms of where ownership was turned over directly to the citizens of their country.”
Pillay said there was a precedent for this type of model and it was not only about SOEs but about true empowerment with the end result being the firing of the political elite and empowerment from the ground up.
He said every registered voter should get a portfolio of shares across the various SOEs. he said the process would cost the fiscus very little as it was a matter of converting the one current shareholder - the State - over to many.
“We have done a calculation of the net value of the SOEs based on the balance sheet they have to produce as part of their annual report and based on the calculations we will be in a position to award a minimum value of R50 000 per voter in terms of the value of all of the SOEs,” he said.
“Citizens will be in a position to sell or sit on their shares on use them as collateral for credit. It is their choice.”
Pillay said South Africans had entrusted Parliament to manage the SOE’s on behalf of citizens for 25 years. “But the mismanagement of our SOEs has resulted in theft on a scale not seen since land of seizures by colonizers.”
Pillay said a board that fails to increase shareholder value will be fired and replaced in a dynamic people’s capitalism.
Pillay cited the example of the Eskom board being paid bonuses when the parastatal was in a financial crisis, saying that if citizens were shareholders, they could enforce a pay cut on the board instead of paying bonuses.